Saturday, April 14, 2012

sacred spaces

beautiful food
At the beginning of April we had a benefit buffet lunch at Kamejikan (Turtle Time? Whoever named that place wins) in Kamakura, a rustic old building refurbished into a guesthouse whose owners graciously volunteered the space to hold an event for us. The lunch was catered by the talented chef Nahomi Edamoto of NHK's Kyou no Ryori fame, and this lovely and eclectic lady prepared a stunning vegetable based meal from farm-direct organic produce, some donated from farmer friends of hers. She used a lot of Japanese vegetables like burdock, greens, and beans (I forgot their names - mizuna? uguisumame?) and told us their story.
The gorgeous  wooden guest house boasted rafters and a tatami room and a Japanese style veranda where the guests with dogs hung out. Only blocks from the beach, the doggies Nana, Hana, and Chibi (in between foster homes) had a grand old time trotting in the sand and splashing in the shallows.
Thank you so much to the Kamejikan staff, Chef Naomi Edamoto, Miku Sano, and Andy Wainwright for helping us put together such a lovely and successful event.
photo by SeeMoreArt

Meanwhile, only about 15 minutes' drive from the shelter in Inawashiro, a stately white lady (the white lady loves you more) rises above Aizu Wakamatsu, gazing out at the valley over the baby in her arms.

The Aizu Dai Jibo Kannon (会津慈母大観音) is not so old, the locals will say scornfully. Anything less than a few hundred years old doesn't really rate in Japan, and she was only built in the 1980s. Still, she's impressive, rising 57 meters into the air, hollow down the middle, with a spiral staircase and windows at intervals to look out into the surrounding hills. You can get up to shoulder height, peering out of porticoes in her spinal column.
The grounds are beautiful, with terraced sculpted gardens stretching out far enough for a good stroll, with plenty of spots to pause with a picnic. Koi bubble and undulate under the bridge that backbends over a pond with wandering canals, letting the carp meander around the park.

We hope she sends her merciful gaze our way, just a few kilometers to the east.

Thanks to Ian, who sent me a donation with which I've paid for medical supplies. We've done spay/neuters, administered antibiotics, fought off fleas and ticks and worms and scabies, and much more thanks to you.


  1. You're right - I love the name of that place, Kamejikan. How brilliant. It sounds so relaxing. Where is Chibi-chan these days?
    I love your blog.

    1. Chibi is in foster care on Sagamihara. I hear her health is not so great - she had a seizure and is acting strange. She's about ten years old, so she's getting up there. Hope she can be comfortable.